Interest in luxury travel is growing, with consumers looking to the United States, Italy and Australia, as well as cruises, for their next vacation destination in which they plan to splurge.
According to the Fall Travel Trends Survey, conducted by Travel Leaders Group,
Italy is the place luxury travelers are booking ¬– or inquiring about the most – for trips over the next 12 months. Italy came in first, with 37.5 percent, followed by a European river cruise, 24.8 percent, the United States, 19.7 percent, a Mediterranean cruise, 14.9 percent, and Australia, 12 percent.
Of the 785 agents surveyed, 39 percent reported that their 2016 luxury travel bookings are higher than at the same point in 2015, while 45 percent said that bookings are even with last year.
Travel agents who book luxury trips reported that when it comes to resort amenities, their clients place a premium on fine dining. Of the agents surveyed, 82.7 percent said it was their clients’ top expectation. In addition to elegant surroundings, that means unique dishes prepared by chefs using locally sourced ingredients, and a varied wine list.
Luxury clients also place a high premium on personal service. After fine dining, access to a private concierge was cited by 59.1 percent of the agents. Luxury travelers also want someone they can call on when they need help, whether it’s arranging an excursion or tickets to a special event.
A trip to a resort is a chance to relax, so it’s not surprising that the importance of spas came in third among the list of most-valued amenities for travelers visiting luxury resorts, at 42.4 percent. What better way to let go of some of the stress of daily life than with pampering, like a massage, manicure, pedicure, or a visit to a sauna?
Personalized, private check-in and check-out is another perk luxury traveler’s prize, according to 32.7 percent of respondents. After a long journey, or at the end of your stay when you’re eager to get home, there’s nothing like being able to skip the line.
Finally, butler service, cited by 30.4 percent of respondents, came in fifth. Butlers are trained to anticipate travelers’ needs, whether it’s something routine, like making sure fresh towels are always at hand, or arranging something special, like a bottle of champagne. They are also skilled at quickly whisking wrinkled wardrobes so that they’re neatly pressed and fresh, and they also help keep shoes shiny and polished.
The survey results also show the range of accommodations available to luxury travelers, and which types they prefer.
On land, 5-star hotels and resorts are booked most often for luxury clients, according to 33.4 percent of the respondents, followed by suites in 5-star plus hotels and resorts (13.2 percent), 4-star hotels and resorts (12.7 percent), 5-star plus hotels and resorts (9.7 percent) and suites in 4-star hotels and resorts (7.5 percent).
When it comes to shipboard accommodations ships, 32.5 percent report booking luxury cruise ships most often, followed by luxury cruise ship suites (27.3 percent), river cruises, (21 percent) and cruise ship suites on non-luxury vessels (9.8 percent.)
For help planning a luxury vacation that fits your needs, whether it’s on land or at sea, contact your travel agent at 775-324-1777 or visit our website www.btttravel.com